Jamie Oliver helps Pearson serve up some hot profits

Record profits at Penguin books  -  publisher of the chart-topping 30-Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver  -  and soaring demand for its educational wares propelled shares in publishing giant Pearson to their highest levels since the dotcom crash.

In an assured trading update, boss Marjorie Scardino said 'vigorous' textbook, online and emerging market growth had helped Pearson buck 'anaemic' trends in the media industry.

Jamie Oliver

Pasta master: Jamie Oliver's book sales have helped boost profits at Pearson


Thanks to her bets on India and Brazil and continued investment in education, the Financial Times owner enjoyed a 20pc jump in underlying profits to £850m in 2010, it said.

Scardino has stepped up her assault on the powerhouses of the emerging world with a string of acquisitions since discarding Pearson's stake in financial data group IDC for £2.1bn last year.

Its Financial Times wing enjoyed 'substantial profit growth' last year.

And following a string of chart-topping books Penguin is set to post its best-ever results.

Shares surged 61p or 6.1pc to 1,067p  -  its highest levels since the dotcom bubble burst a decade ago.

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